It’s vacation season, the perfect time to get away and explore new places. Plus, with RWA’s National Conference coming up next week and so many people traveling in for the event, I thought it an appropriate time to offer a safety refresher. Whether your summer adventures take you a short distance from home or oceans away, here are a few tips to help you enjoy your travels safely.
- If possible travel with at least one travel companion.
- When traveling out of the country do your research and be aware of local customs, laws, etc.
- Do not pack valuables in your suitcase. Bags must be unlocked or locked with approved padlocks. If they are locked with an unapproved lock, screeners will break the lock to gain access.
- Be mindful of your luggage at all times and do not pack so much that you will be lugging excessively heavy bags.
- Pack medicines and extra eyeglasses in your hand luggage so they will be available in case your checked luggage is lost.
- Learn important fact about your destination that could affect your health (high altitude or pollution, types of medical facilities, required immunizations, availability of required pharmaceuticals, etc.). Key health information can be found at the Travelers’ Health page of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.
- Carry your money and personal objects in a bag or purse that you can hide under your clothes.
- Use a business card as your luggage tag. Try not to use your home address.
- Never tell anyone that you are traveling alone. If someone persistently asks, don’t hesitate to lie.
- If attending a conference do not wear your name badge when you leave the event hotel.
- If you are going to take a taxi, which you probably will while at RWA, being friendly and sharing a little light conversation with the driver is fine, but keep personal information to yourself. Don’t give out too much information about your plans or yourself. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or threatened have the driver let you out of the cab in a busy, familiar, or popular place.
- Avoid going out alone at night and as always TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!
Please don’t hesitate to add any other tips you have for staying safe on your travels this summer. If you are going to RWA National we hope to see you there, and if you’re free stop in and see us Thursday, at 2:00 pm for our Kick Butt Heroes: Using Martial Arts in Your Action Scenes workshop!
With Halloween just a few short days away it seemed like the perfect time to offer a few safety tips so that everyone can have a safe and happy day. These tips are from the Mayo Clinic’s website.
- Wearing bright colors is always your best bet since they are more easily seen. If your children will be out at night you may want to add strips of reflective tape to their costume.
- Size Matters. Ill fitting costumes especially ones that are too long can lead to falls. Make sure that you and your child’s costume fits appropriately, even with warm clothing beneath it. Also avoid wearing heels or over-sized shoes.
- Go with makeup instead of masks since masks can obstruct your vision.
- Trick-or-treating in groups is always the safest way to go. For younger children you may want to pin a piece of paper with their name and a phone number on it so they have an emergency contact number in case they get separated from their group. Also stick to familiar neighborhoods.
- Establish ground rules for older kids who are trick-or-treating without adult supervision such as: setting a curfew, staying with their group, staying on sidewalks, only approach well lit houses, and never enter a house. You may also want to arrange periodic call in times.
- Don’t eat your goodies while you’re trick-or-treating. Discard anything that looks questionable or isn’t sealed.
- Make sure your home is trick-or-treater friendly: Ensure good visibility on on walkways and at your front door, keep your pets under control for the children’s safety as well as the animal’s, clear walkways and sidewalks of things people could trip over like toys, lawn decorations, hoses, or wet leaves.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Photo courtesy of Flickr and Dr. Graphx
Use the drive up Automated Teller Machine (ATM) during daylight hours. If you must use an ATM after hours, take someone with you.
Choose an ATM that looks and “feels” safer, even if it’s a few miles away. Avoid ATM machines with poor lighting or visibility. Avoid ATMs near obvious hiding places like shrubbery or overgrown trees. Robbers like to have the element of surprise and no witnesses.
Make sure no one is hiding or loitering in the area of the ATM. If someone looks suspicious or you have a gut feeling something isn’t right, drive away and find another ATM.
Keep your engine running, your doors locked and all other windows rolled up. It might also be a good idea to leave enough space between your car and the one in line ahead of you in case you have to maneuver your vehicle out of there.
Make your transaction as quick as possible by having your card ready and your PIN number memorized. Avoid counting your money in public. Immediately put away your cash.
Be aware of your surroundings by watching your side and rear view mirrors during the transaction. Robbers will most likely attack from the rear on the driver’s side.
If you see anyone approaching or feel threatened in any way, drive off immediately.
If an armed robber demands your cash, card or both, or tries to enter your vehicle, drive away. Call the police and report the incident.